As Supreme Court Takes Up Gay Marriage Question, Foes Rally
Most of the challenges to Gay marriage amount to attempts to show some form of harm from it, and they fail. The ones outlined in this article rest on unproven assumptions or hypothetical future grievances, that could be litigated in future cases if or when they came up, which is how our body of law grows, and how we reach a happy ground that works for most if not everyone over time.
For that reason, the arguments raised by opponents in last week’s briefs could be critical. They break down into several categories:
Procreation and child-rearing: Groups defending Proposition 8, led by California’s protectmarriage.com, argue that marriage is intended largely for having children and raising them with a mother and father.
“Recognition of same-sex marriages would not promote either of the principal interests on the basis of which opposite-sex marriage is a protected institution,” says a brief submitted by the conservative Family Research Council.
Several briefs criticize the District Court’s original ruling for its emphasis on marriage as a commitment among adults. The Catholic bishops labeled that definition “incoherent” and “wildly over-inclusive.”
Special legal protections: Opponents will have a tough time winning if the justices decide that laws based on sexual orientation deserve heightened scrutiny, as have those dealing with race.
Although the high court declared bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional in its 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, opponents of same-sex marriage such as the Coalition of African American Pastors say that doesn’t set a precedent.
Others argue that gays’ sexual orientation is a choice, rather than genetically immutable. One brief tells the stories of four “ex-gays” now in heterosexual relationships.